It was probably around the end of 2017 when I really started deep-diving into what narcissism really is. A part of the reason why I did it was because I was counseling some people who seemed to reveal some telling signs of being one. Then, because I am definitely the exception and not the rule when it comes to not being on social media, I was finding more and more data to support that it is creating more narcissists than ever before. Jump ahead a couple of years and I actually had a close relative who said, “Of course, I'm a narcissist. My mother and father are narcissists.” Boy, did that start to connect some dots as it relates to narcissistic abuse within my family tree and when it came to some of the friends and even guys that I picked — because it really is true that until you know better, it’s hard to do better.
As I started becoming a semi-expert on how to discern a narcissist before you find yourself getting beat the hell up by them (check out “3 Warning Signs You're In Love With A Narcissist” and “What If It's Your Parents Who Happen To Be The Narcissists?”), that’s when I began to learn more and more about gaslighting (check out “Gaslighting, Love Bombing & 5 Other Triggers To Call Out In Your Relationships”) and y’all…Y’ALL. Hmph. Matter of fact, the more that I learn about what it is beyond how much folks just randomly throw the word out into the atmosphere, the more I get that if a lot of us nipped gaslighting right in the bud, our lives would be so much more peace-filled and we’d have a lot more clarity on what the quality of our relationships actually are; including our friendships.
Last year, I shared some intel on what it means to date a gaslighter (you can read more about that here). Today, let’s get into what it’s like to be gaslit by a friend (or “friend”). Because the sooner you know the signs, the sooner you can know if that person is worth keeping in your tribe or not — because why choose to be “burned” all of the time if you absolutely can avoid it?
If someone were to ask me to provide a really quick and concise definition of gaslighting, I would probably pull from the author of the lead quote up top. Tracy Morgan also once said, “Gaslighting is an attempt to change the truth.” Some other keepers from the same writer include: “Gaslighting is mind control to make victims doubt their reality,” “Gaslighting is implanted narratives cloaked in secrecy,” and “Gaslighting is when you don’t remember things the same as they do.” OK, but just so that we’re all on the same page, let’s go just a bit deeper than that.
At the end of the day, gaslighting is a form of emotional and/or psychological abuse where the gaslighter tries to make the “victim” question their own reality when it comes to their memories, experiences, and even feelings that are directly associated with the gaslighter. And why would someone be so diabolic? It’s all about manipulation and control. Egomaniacs like to gaslight. Abusers like to gaslight. Narcissists like to gaslight. Control freaks like to gaslight. People who suck at taking personal accountability for their actions like to gaslight. Some would say that ghosters are also pretty good gaslighters because if you’re leaving someone to question what happened, that is messing with their feelings…right? And because ghosting is pretty intentional, that means that 8 times out of 10, that is exactly what you wanted to do in order to have some sort of control (or get some control back)…right?
And here’s the thing — so long as someone is able to keep undermining you and, as a direct result, keep you “unstable” when it comes to how to deal with them, in their mind, they have the upper hand. They are able to keep pulling strings that can sway you into all kinds of directions, all the while acting innocent or even like you’re the problem. When I tell you that gaslighting is evil…it really is so evil, chile. And that’s why, again, it’s so important — crucial even — to know when someone you consider to be a friend is actually doing it to you.
And because, unfortunately, gaslighting is super common, I wanted to share a few signs of when you’re being gaslit in a friendship (or you’re possibly doing it to someone else), so that you are very clear, moving forward.
6 Ways a Friend Can Gaslight You (Sometimes, Without You Noticing It)
1. They Can Have a Selective Memory
When I tell you that I have a relative who is an Olympian gaslighter in this very realm? When it comes to what I had on in grade school or what I said 10 years ago, they can remember that. Oh, but call them to the carpet on some blatant physical, verbal or emotional abuse and, all of a sudden, they can’t remember. Chile, bye.
The reason why gaslighters like to get off of having a selective memory is 1) they want to try and mess with your own. For instance, while another relative of mine was still alive, this master gaslighter used to try and appear virtuous by saying that they didn’t want to speak ill of them and their narratives. Oh, but when that person died, all of a sudden, the gaslighter said they were a liar and too inebriated to recall what the relative had said about how the gaslighter got down. Of course, to the gaslighter, now it’s cool to say all of that because the person can’t defend themselves or contradict their story. Now the gaslighter remembers things like it was yesterday.
Watch people who try and act like you don’t know what you’re talking about when you know damn well that you do. Not only is it condescending as all get out, but it’s also their way of trying to make you become the “character” in the story they’ve written — or rewritten. Depending on the day. Either way, it’s gonna have nightmarish results for you if you let it continue to go on for a long period of time.
2. They Are Dismissive of Your Thoughts, Feelings and/or Needs
Someone I know had a relative who was very ill. When a mutual friend of ours kept telling me that I needed to go and visit that person (the sick one), out of courtesy only (because I really didn’t have to do it), I asked the “friend” if they were OK with that. Their response was, “I need to pray about it” (if that ain’t passive-aggressive). What? Meanwhile, all kinds of other people were given “their blessing” to visit and it wasn’t until the individual was literally unconscious that I was contacted with a green light.
People who know me know that I am not passive-aggressive; if anything, I’m overly aggressive in communicating my thoughts and so, when that person reached out after their relative passed (no doubt to get sympathy), I shared how I felt about what they did. This was all email correspondence. Did they respond? Nope. And when I ran into them months later, did they say anything? Nope. Not about that. How in the world do you get petty on that kind of level and then how do we come back from a death?
Is this gaslighting? A billion times over because when you state how you feel about something or what a need is and your friend acts like you didn’t say anything at all, not only are they trying to invalidate you but they oftentimes want you to get so upset that you end up popping all of the way off, so that, that way, they can tell everyone how you victimized them.
Luckily, I learned about gaslighting before all of this went down. Still, that showed me, live and in living color, how that individual gets down. You ain’t gotta burn me at that level again, chile. I won’t fight you in the street about it but…we’re good.
3. They Are Big-Time Flatterers (with a Jacked-Up Motive)
I say it often because it’s true — not even the Bible has good things to say about flattery (Job 17:5), so I don’t know why so many folks fall for it (well, other than receiving an ego boost, I guess). Anyway, watch out for the friends who ooze flattering words. For one thing, it oftentimes comes off as being super disingenuous. Also, it’s typically a set-up. They are trying to make you feel good so that they can get something out of you (which is basically the same thing as being disingenuous, right?). Or, it could be how they get out of apologizing for doing you dirty. In other words, when you confront them about something that either hurt your feelings or was flat-out wrong, rather than them owning it (more on that in a bit), they will deflect with some sort of compliment or praise — including praising that you didn’t react in the manner that they probably deserved.
Do good friends affirm one another? Yep. The key here is to pay close attention to the motive. Affirming is just about celebrating someone. Flattery is about buttering someone up for your own agenda. Or stratagem. It all depends on what you’re after in the long run. Motives are a trip, chile. Always pay a good amount of attention to them.
4. They Don’t Take Ownership for Their Actions
Gaslighters don’t like to apologize. Gaslighters try and avoid confrontation at all costs. Gaslighters will even lie to get out of taking accountability for their actions. The reason why is because if they deal with things, head-on, in their mind that means they aren’t in control anymore and they always want to be in control.
A few years ago, I wrote about a former friend who ghosted the mess outta me (check out “I Was 'Ghosted' By My Best Friend”). When I wrote them a couple of years later to be like, “I really can’t believe you did that,” did they apologize? Nope. They went on and on about how they decided on their own that I didn’t want to be involved with them anymore.
Nope. The issue was they were going through a crazy marital situation. I had come in to help defuse it and told them that I would give them some time to work it out. I also gave them a firm date when we should revisit it all. Instead, they got a divorce and I’m pretty sure that’s why they got ghost; they didn’t want me to know that. And so, rather than just being honest, they tried to make it be like ghosting me is what I wanted. Whew, gaslighting is crazy.
Personally, I don’t trust people who can’t own their ish — straight up and flat-out. I think a part of the reason is due to how direct I tend to be. Another reason is because I’ve spent far too many precious years of my life surrounded by folks who like to play those kinds of games. If you’ve got a friend who wants to hold you accountable and yet you can never do the same thing for/to them…that’s a gaslighter. Be careful.
5. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries in Your Other Relationships
Last year, one of the articles that I wrote for the platform was entitled, “Why I Prefer My Friends To NOT Be Friends With Each Other.” I remember reading a comment on one of our social media pages that said I was childish and problematic. Honey, I guess. First, I doubt she read the piece, and second, experience has brought me to that place and my life has been so much better for it. See, if two people are already close before I come onto the scene or we all meet at the same time, it’s whatever. But getting all close with my people’s people just because they are? For what? That’s their friends and everyone deserves to have their own space and boundaries.
It's kind of a 2.0 way of thinking yet hear me out. None of us is perfect and even friends need a place to vent — even about us. I would much rather my friends go to some random (in my world) who I don’t even know than someone who is close to me. Doing the latter just makes stuff awkward, if not super messy, and who has time for that kind of stress when it can be avoided?
Gaslighters? Oh, they would hate my article because they like everyone to be close-knit. That way, they can sow seeds of division among everyone, so that all relationships feel a little off-kilter. And when everyone is feeling kind of insecure, they can do their best manipulative work. Gaslighters loathe relational boundaries. They don’t have as much power when those exist.
6. They Constantly Play the Victim
Out of all of what I just said, probably the worst thing about a gaslighter is that they don’t know how to do anything other than play the victim. And because what they did to you is oftentimes right under the bar of catching a beatdown, they are pretty good at making it look like you’re just exaggerating what your issues with them are. UGH.
So, just what are some telltale signs that someone enjoys playing the victim role?
- They refuse to accept responsibility for the things that they’ve done.
- They will withhold their friendship until you apologize (even if they are wrong).
- They live to throw pity parties.
- If you do confront them about something, they will turn the issue onto you.
- They act like they are above correction or criticism and so if you do it, you are just jealous (to them).
- They are emotionally draining as all get out.
- They like you to be on eggshells when it comes to dealing with them.
- They will try and make you feel bad for what they did.
- They place blame on anyone and everything else.
It’s basically like, if someone shares the pearls of wisdom, “Don’t play victim to the circumstances you created,” they will find some way to act like they have no idea what anyone is talking about. All they know is they are right for gaslighting and you are wrong for calling them out on it. And that reminds me of what another author by the name of Maranda Pleasant, once said — “People who harm you will blame you for it. Remember, an abuser will generally always play the victim, spin a story, tell everyone and then generally call you ‘crazy.'”
I know it was a lot, y’all. Gaslighting is a lot. I still think it was well worth discussing because if your gut has been telling you that someone doesn’t sit quite right in your spirit and you haven’t been quite able to put your finger on anything, perhaps now you can.
Gaslighting is the worst. The good news is when you don’t provide the “kindle,” there’s very little they can do to affect — or infect — you. So…don’t (any longer).
Featured image by Giphy
If you’re looking back on 2021 like, “Where did the days go?" trust us when we say we are, too. As the holidays approach, it’s natural to become reflective and muse over the peaks and valleys, accomplishments, and tough lessons that the year threw your way—and for many of us, we didn’t do it alone. From the homegirls who helped us through breakups, to the long-distance sisterhoods held together by hours-long FaceTime calls. For the friends who always know what to say when you can’t seem to gather the words, and the ones who see you when you can’t see the greatness in yourself. What better way to say, “you deserve,” than with a thoughtful gift made for and by Black women.
We’re here to drop all the gift-giving gems for every type of woman in your life. And if you find yourself frequently asking, "Is it really Black-owned though?" The answer is: Absolutely. From skincare to the latest style staples, we’ve got you and your homegirls covered this holiday season.
From Oprah’s Favorite Things List to your hands, legs, and shoulders. This hydrating formula is enriched with nourishing plant botanicals with a thick and creamy texture that’s sure to make you a certified Shea Butter Baby.
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This is your reminder to not leave your undereye area out of your skincare routine because it needs love, too. Add these selfie-ready, all-natural eye masks into your routine for some much-needed TLC and effortless glow.
In need of some new arm candy? We just might have found your new favorite set.
If you haven’t heard about the lip gloss, gather ‘round, because once you’ve got this in your purse, you’ll never want to live without it again. The oil-to-gloss formula provides the perfect shine and brown girl-friendly tint. Snag one or two or six — we won’t judge.
Every Day Journal
We know how you girls love to journal. If tracking everyday growth, memories, and moments has become a newfound self-care practice or something to explore, this journal will fit right into your routine.
Brown Girl Jane
It’s giving opulence, it’s giving confidence, it’s giving drama. If your homegirl’s fragrance collection runneth over, what’s one more gonna hurt?
Good news: the hunt for the perfect red lipstick for melanated skin ends here. This cherry bomb of color is lightweight on the surface and heavy on the coverage.
Have you seen something so beautiful that demands your full and undivided attention? Maybe it’s the viper snakeskin or the signature silver metal logo that shines like a jewelry piece of its own, but whatever this purse is saying, we’re listening. Talk about making a statement.
There’s nothing like a little nostalgia — especially when it comes in the form of dainty everyday jewelry. Inspired by childhood imagery, this brand takes vintage silhouettes and brings them into the 2020s and beyond. Did we mention it’s handmade?
Raise your hand if the majority of your wardrobe has been reduced to loungewear and athleisure? Same, sis. Level up your cozy girl energy with this ribbed bralette and boxer bottom set. Who says those lazy days around the house can’t be sexy too?
Black women in gold jewelry are our favorite genre. Whether you're looking for simple, timeless pieces, or tapping into '90s classic styles with a twist, you’ll find your steez here.
We all have that one friend that knows how to mix a crafty cocktail and throw a lively party. For her aesthetic-driven eye and knack for flavor profiles, we thank her. Replenish her bar cart in style with this sparkling treat.
Featured image by Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images
'Tis the season for holiday cheer, yet for many of us this joyous occasion can be overshadowed by the stress that comes along with finding the perfect gifts for the women in our lives. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, every year I become obsessed with choosing gifts that are special and useful in one's everyday life. Typically a last minute shopper, this year I'm getting a head start to avoid the ongoing shipping delays, "out of stock" notifications and even worse, the mad dash to the mall to pick over whatever's left of the holiday gift sets.
As I attempt to master the art of the annual gift exchange, my strategy is shopping for products that everyone loves, including myself. Whether for the annual 'Friendsmas' get-together or showing your bestie how much you care, these are the gifts that keep on giving no matter the gal you're shopping for. From beauty products to home goods, here's a list of my favorite things when considering what to buy this holiday season.
One thing I've learned is women love sharing beauty tips and breaking down their favorite facial products. Recommended by at least five people I know, this Laneige Sleep Mask set is life-changing. Created to revive dry, chapped lips 24/7, it is exactly what the doctor ordered, especially in the wintertime. A great gift for only $21, you might as well add another set for yourself.
Modern wellness for the contemporary woman, Your Sunday is a luxury candle shop made with vegan, non-toxic ingredients along with cruelty-free fragrances and luxe scents. Made to bring balance and harmony into intimate spaces, these beautifully crafted wax sculptures are created with calming aromas that inspire one to take it slow, pause, and breathe. Bold shapes and silhouettes are unique to the brand's identity and overall aesthetic for a stylish feel that fits in any home.
3.My Black Beautiful Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood
The perfect coffee table book, My Black Beautiful Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood takes us on a journey of self-love and self-discovery. A collection of Detrick-Jules' candid photos of Black women, this book also features first-person stories from the women about their natural hair experiences. This book stands as a joyful witness to the current cultural landscape as the natural hair movement comes into full bloom.
I've never been into wearing much makeup, but I have learned that at some point a makeup brush collection is totally necessary. For the friends that love the 'no makeup' makeup look, this is a gift they may not even think to give themselves. As one who knows little about applying makeup, I didn't realize how small my collection was until I needed more brushes. Mented Cosmetics' Holiday Brush Collection is the perfect brush set to gift the makeup guru in your life or the perfect starter kit to grow a girl's expertise.
5.DIXIEGRAZE By Hanna Jewelry
Gold is a girl's best friend which means DIXIEGRAZE By Hanna is a must when shopping for practical gift options this year. One of my favorite shops when looking to add a layer of specialty handmade accessories, this line of jewelry is perfect for everyone. Simple yet chic makes these pieces designs anyone could wear.
6.UnSun Cosmetics Bronze Goddess Face and Body Highlighter
Speaking of gold, give the gift of a beautiful glow this Christmas with the help of UnSun Cosmetics. Created to bring a natural glow to a bare face or a made-up one, the award-winning beauty products are the perfect addition to any facial routine. With winter around the corner, maintaining a natural summer glow all year is one of my skincare goals.
Featured image by Getty Images
My heart breaks for humanity knowing that we have succumbed to coexist in two worlds both offline and online. And what I mean by this is our unhealthy dependency on social media for human connection. I hate the way we need the 'gram to feel connected. And the thing is before COVID-19, a healthy balance existed between online presence and reality. Now, not so much. Since the pandemic, our reliance on social media has become our daily norm. A temporary solution instantly became a reality and still is a reality today. And I am not sure if things will ever be the same.
The fact that we receive instant gratification from little red notifications is very telling. I, too, was guilty of being completely enamored and somewhat obsessed with an online presence. Likes, comments, DMs, reactions, and follows. It wasn't until a recent four-month social media break that I realized how much social media has changed human connection. I initially took a social media break to be more productive. I was and I have been. With all this masculine energy flowing through me, I'm out here slayin' my fourth-quarter goals. But then it got quiet—almost too quiet.
As the silence grew, I started to feel completely isolated and lonely.
In this moment, I started to question the impact social media has on human connection and relationships. It took my online absence for some friends to check on me or even remember that I existed. I mean, granted I was overly consistent with my social media posts, but online presence shouldn't be a prerequisite to express concern.
People assume if you're not frequently posting content or taking a break from social media that something is wrong. And it is also assumed because they see glimpses of your life through curated pictures that everything is OK. Is it just me or does anyone else see how backward this logic is?
I want to say by no means am I offended by this behavior. These are instances I have noticed and I am sure others have experienced too as we navigate the dynamics of human connection in a technologically advanced world.
The Dynamics of Friendship
First, let me just say that I am grateful for every single one of my online connections. It brings me so much joy that they have been a part of my journey. And I am even more grateful for those online connections that have turned into offline friendships. To meet those people in person and create real-life moments and memories has been simply beautiful. I'm a Sagittarius y'all—making new connections is what I do. I'm also one of those friends that will make every effort to check in or simply show up. Regardless, of if it's offline or online, it's just the way I'm wired.
With the overconsumption of social media, I would say the level of effort in friendships is affected, if not dead. And it doesn't matter if it's a new friend or a close friend. We have deprioritized human connection when it's one of the most basic needs. How?
The notion is if you can be seen, heard, celebrated, or valued online, then there is no need to connect with you offline. The norm has become if friends can communicate with you via likes, comments, and reactions, then there's no need to call or text.
But the reality is curated pictures cannot account for what people think or feel. Social media somehow has become a foundational element or the sole basis for friendship but the concept of friendship is built on so much more. A solid friendship requires a level of depth only human connection allows for and is irreplaceable. We are made to feel through the presence of each other.
Do we even realize that we are establishing friendships based on picturesque content and pre-planned captions that are designed to increase a following as opposed to real-life moments? I said this once, and I'll say it again: With social media, we are constantly paying attention to someone else's life instead of our own. However, I understand that friendships are harder to maintain in our 30s and 40s. I also understand that some of us are still recovering or healing from trauma or loss. I know that the majority of us are still trying to navigate what we consider to be a new normal on top of everyday life. And sometimes, we just don't have the energy to generally deal with people, too.
Therefore, social media has become a tool that allows us to keep up with the lives of our family, lifelong friends, new friends, and colleagues. Remember, the original intention of Instagram was to primarily share photos taken by mobile devices. But now within the last few years and the pandemic, Instagram has evolved to some next-level shit. Not only did we turn into a business, but we also turned the 'gram into a complete online world that we live in.
A Word About Social Media and the Dynamics of Dating
I have to admit, at first, I thought men sliding in my DMs, liking all my pictures, and heavy in my comments was hella cute. But now, not so much. We often complain about how men and women behave in the DMs and comments. However, in all honesty, we allowed this shit. We taught each other this behavior was acceptable. In the words of Henry Cloud, "You get what you tolerate." We set a standard that seems pretty low to me, so who are we to complain or say anything at all?
The reality is we've normalized sliding in the DMs to the point that some men don't know how to communicate let alone interact with women at all. There's no effort in this. We continue to reward men for the bare minimum and lack of effort. It's not to say that successful dating stories or relationships haven't started in the DM, because they have. Yet there is still a whole lot of fuckery going down in the DM.
I say all this to demonstrate how dating has changed with social media which was fueled by a pandemic.
Finding Balance with Social Media, Online Presence and Human Connection
I don't know if balance will ever be restored when it comes to human connection. The more technologically advanced we are as a society, I think we may continue to lose human connection. I personally have always enjoyed making in-person connections through the elements of presence. It's the energy for me. There is something about the energy and physical presence that pictures or words just cannot replace. I want to be caught up in moments and memories. And I want to be intoxicated with all feelings that come with it. This is what human connection is all about – the ability to have experiences that evoke feeling. We need eye contact, touch, laughter, and intimate conversations for true connection. It's imperative to our mental health. It's all the things that make us human.
Social media should not be a complete alternative for human connection, initiating a date, or maintaining friendships as we tend to overuse or abuse it, but the way this pandemic is going, social media is not going to let up.
We somehow redefined and reinforced human connection through social media. And for me, while I realize this is what our society has become, I don't have to play along with it either. I do think we should find a healthier balance in the way we use social media for human connection. It's hard to say what a healthy balance would look like as this balance could be different for everyone.
I would say it starts with recognizing some hard truths about ourselves and our society, using boundaries, and choosing not to accept certain acts or behaviors as our new normal.
The only thing we can do is find ways to keep the human connections alive. We need to continue to seek the type of human connections that are authentic, whole, worthy, and deserving more so offline than online.
Featured image by Getty Images
Sunday night was filled with watch parties, buzzing group chats, and never-ending social media posts all in celebration of the beginning of the end to HBO's Insecure. From debates surrounding friendship and relationships to healthy discussions around therapy, postpartum, and office culture, Insecure explored it all, and in a way that felt authentic and incredibly familiar. And while I'm a lover of many different types of television shows, I can honestly say Insecure is just different, special.
And I think I speak for a lot of us when I say as excited as I was for it to come back, I'm just as sad for its approaching end. But, if the first episode of season five is any indication of what's to come, they're definitely going out with a bang. And by that, I mean an emotional bang. Because this first episode was a lot to digest. By the way, I'm about to drop a lot of spoilers so if you haven't watched, head to HBO Max and then come back. But, for those of you that are caught up, here are some of our takeaways from the season five premiere episode.
1.Looking back helps you move forward.
There was something so uniquely beautiful about the cast going back to Stanford (Issa Rae's actual alma mater) for their 10-year reunion. It showed them in a way we kind of always imagined, walking through campus, talking, laughing, and making the memories that formed the relationships we've seen throughout the show. I also have to believe it served as a really good reminder of the things the characters may have previously wanted out of life and how some of those things may have changed while others stayed the same.
For example in this episode, Issa Dee commented on how since Tiffany and Derrick's first date, everyone knew they were a match. And now, here the married couple was walking together happily on the same campus. On the other hand, there's Issa who, while in school, thought she'd become a lawyer and open a firm with Molly, yet there she was excitedly waiting to speak on a panel about being an entrepreneur.
Sometimes looking back allows you to remember the things you wanted, celebrate the things you have, and re-evaluate what's next.
2.It's OK to take meaningful risks.
Issa admitting that she’s unsure if she’s on the right path is real AF.— Shanelle Genai✨ (@shanellegenai) October 25, 2021
Like even with the best of planning, the reality is we’re all really just winging this shit.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and we have to pivot. Whew.. #InsecureHBO
Pretty early in the episode, we learn that Issa has been flewed out, thanks to her alma mater, and is on a special panel to talk about her new company, BLOCC (Black Life Opportunity, Culture, and Connection). However, when she stutters over what the acronym stands for, it becomes apparent that she's still ironing out the kinks. Nevertheless, during the panel, she's asked many intimidating questions like, "What's the biggest lesson you learned on your journey?" and "When did you know you were on the right path?" And for a moment, we see Issa appear uncomfortable after making one of those awkward yet hilarious outbursts we've grown accustomed to hearing.
But, then she does something else, she shares a transparent truth, that's she's not sure that she's made the right decision and wonders if she's wasting her time. And while that response may not have been a hit with the panel audience, it resonates with Insecure's. Because, thanks to layoffs and toxic office cultures coupled with social media's need to appear like we have it all together, many Insecure viewers know all too well about having to change career paths. And there's something so freeing in embracing uncertainty and chasing true fulfillment.
3.Some bonds are forever.
As we know, Insecure always starts a lot of conversation. I mean, one of the best things about the episodes is the gender wars and Twitter threads that appear after they air. But, one pretty clear thing is that this show is full of passionate relationships. And I don't just mean romantically. Issa and Molly's friendship has been a highlight of the show, and when season five begins, we're not quite positive where they stand. I mean sure, they seem friendly, but they're supposed to be best friends.
Friendly isn't really a word I'd use to describe the chemistry between best friends, it's supposed to be much deeper and more comfortable, but the two are clearly putting forth an effort to fix it. However, when they're at gunpoint holding onto each other (thanks to that shady Cheyenne) and later belting out in laughter, it becomes apparent that they have a forever connection. That's how it is with some people. You can go a long time without talking or even suffer hurdles in the relationship, but you're still always going to care for them, and I think Issa and Molly are a really good example of that.
4.Friends can be your soulmates, too.
Kelli deserves all the validation because she actually is the best friend to all of them. #InsecureHBO— stacey.cash (@staceynicole__) October 25, 2021
One of the things I really liked about this episode is that we learned even more about Kelli. Because while she's one of my favorite characters, I don't know as much about her as I do the others. And when the girls are in the car before all hell breaks loose, Kelli irritably shares an authentic truth: she feels like everyone only sees her as the "funny friend." And while the rest of the characters laugh, Tiffany looks at her sympathetically.
To me, that moment spoke to their relationship. Because sometimes when it seems that everyone else doesn't understand you, the person who truly gets you, always will. And at the end of the show when Tiffany verbalizes that emotion to the group by saying "she's my soulmate, sorry Derrick," as she apologizes to her husband, it was just a beautiful reminder of the people in my life I'm thankful for. And that sometimes, friends can be soulmates too.
5.Trust your gut.
Whew, this one was hard to type. Because I'm one of the people that is rooting for Issa and Lawrence to find their way back to each other. Now, I know it's been quite messy and he has a whole side baby now, but they clearly love each other! Still, if there's one thing this life has taught me, it's to trust your gut, intuition, or vibe – whatever you want to call it –it's there for a reason. And when Issa was riding in the car with Lawrence during that final scene, it was obvious there was something major she needed to get off her chest. And whether the decision to end things is temporary or permanent, it's good to know she trusted herself.
Who knows what would've happened if she stayed when she truly wanted to leave? Maybe she would have cheated on him again, maybe she would have ruined their relationship altogether, or even formed a wedge between him and his child. Now, I know that may have gone too far, but my point is it reminded me to always trust myself, even if it's difficult or uncomfortable to do so. Because you never know what the repercussions may be. Still, I hope they find their way back to each other.
But maybe she can grab dinner with Daniel before that because I'd like to see him on-screen one more time. (smiles)
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Both actresses have achieved groundbreaking success in Hollywood and have also thrived in entrepreneurship. Taraji made a name for herself starring in Baby Boy as well as Hustle and Flow, Hidden Figures and the popular TV drama Empire. Gabrielle became a household name thanks to Bring It On, as well as Deliver Us from Eva, and the hit TV show Being Mary Jane. The two also starred in Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too together.
In regards to entrepreneurship, they both have their own haircare lines. Taraji's line is called TPH by Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle's line is called Flawless by Gabrielle Union, but while they have similar careers and business ventures, they aren't in competition with each other. Taraji and Gabrielle both stopped by The Late Late Show with James Corden and talked about their 20 year-long friendship.
Both actresses shared their love for a cocktail and strip clubs when asked what a girls night out with them would be like. After much laughter, Taraji went on to praise Gabrielle about her vulnerability in her new book You Got Anything Stronger? and "what she means to our culture."
"I just sent her a text not too long ago thanking her for her book because, her vulnerability, (looks at Gabrielle) you're setting so many people free and especially in the Black community we have to be strong all the time. That is how we cope, but strength is killing us. Buildings are meant to be strong, not humans. You need a wall to lean on to help you stand up, but humans, we are emotional creatures and it's OK to feel all the feels and I think that was so beautiful to share."
The host of the Facebook Watch show Peace of Mind continued to gush over her friend Gabrielle, who looked on in appreciation, and opened up about how grateful she is to have a "sister" in the industry.
"It just feels good to be in an industry where it's so judgemental and it's so competitive; to find someone, to have someone, your sister in the business do the same thing you do, but we don't compete. I big her up. I'm proud of her for everything, every accomplishment she makes because it lets me know that I too can do it. It gives me hope."
Instead of competing, the L.A.'s Finest star and Muppets Haunted Mansion actress are teaming up to co-produce a feature film based off of the graphic novel Sorcerority.
Speaking on their new joint venture, Gabrielle said in a statement:
"Taraji and I have been looking for a project to work on together for a few years now and I'm excited to be partnering with her, TPH Productions and Gamechanger Films on this project. I'm looking forward to bringing this graphic novel to the big screen."
We love to see Black women working together and getting the bag.
Taraji P. Henson & Gabrielle Union Are Friendship Goals
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